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(Full disclosure here. After it was reported that Michigan State could be without 20 plyers, including eight starters, for its game against Penn State due to the flu, that game was taken off the board here and replaced by Oregon-Oregon State prior to the start of Saturday's games)

We've reached the end of the regular season. That's a whimper you'll be hearing -- not a bang.

Where's the drama this weekend used to bring? Where are the epic showdowns? Outside of Oklahoma-Oklahoma State and Ohio State-Michigan the weekend schedule lacks any real pizzazz-- unless, of course, you think that 23 teams that are 5-6 and trying to become bowl eligible is compelling.

There is plenty of intrigue in Ohio State-Michigan, with the Buckeyes putting on a dazzling display of offense recently and the Wolverines also reaching this point at 9-1, though in a far more workmanlike fashion.

Even minus eight on the road against a good defense, it's hard to pick against Ohio State these days.

On to the games:

Florida State over FLORIDA, taking 2 1/2

Credit to Mike Norvell for keeping the Seminoles together after an 0-4 start to get to 5-6 -- while also turning QB Travis Jordan into a more consistent player. Gators have lost four of five (the only win coming over Samford), have fired coach Dan Mullen, lost to an exceedingly mediocre Missouri last week and have basically quit.

BAYLOR over Texas Tech, giving 14 

Bears come off solid wins over Oklahoma and K-State, have won five of six and need this to stay in contention for the Big 12 title game -- hoping for an Oklahoma loss later at night. Red Raiders, losers of four of their past six, hold a rare distinction: They have both given up 70 in a game and been shut out. Being epically bad on both sides of the ball is no mean feat.

Oregon State over OREGON, taking 7

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Based on the way the Ducks have played recently -- and the way Ohio State has as well -- Oregon's victory over the Buckeyes in Columbus earlier this year may be the biggest upset of the season. Ducks have since proven they are not that good and looked lifeless in a 38-7 loss to Utah last week. Beavers are a much-improved program, thanks in large part to the Pac-12's top rushing game. Giving OSU the edge at QB over Oregon to end the Ducks' recent dominance in the series. Coach Jonathan Smith has turned the Beavers into a solid team.

LSU over Texas A&M, taking 6

We know how the LSU administration feels about Ed Orgeron. Now we'll find out how much his players like him, since this marks his final game as head coach of the Tigers. One thing about LSU: There is talent there. It's not always in synch but it's there. Aggies' defense remains stout but you never know which Zach Calzada will show up to play QB -- especially on the road in a hostile environment. This looks like a field goal game.

Oklahoma over Oklahoma State, taking 4

Hard to resist the Sooners plus points against a non-SEC team even through this uneven season. Their offense has struggled at times but their defense has been solid throughout -- which sounds a lot like Oklahoma State's season to this point. In the battle of offenses and quarterbacks, the Sooners have more talent. Hard to see this being a lopsided game either way.

Byu over USC, giving 7

Cougars have a chance to go to 5-0 against the Pac-12 this year and come into this on a roll, having won four straight while scoring 159 points in their past three games. This is an offense that finally looks to have found itself. Looking for the definition of a football team that has quit? Look at USC. Trojans have lost four of five -- beating hapless Arizona by seven over that span -- and gave up an embarrassing 62 points to UCLA last week. 


Last week vs. spread: 3-3

Season to date vs. spread: 42-30

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